Excerpt of Pride and Precipitation
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. (John Ruskin)
Monday, April 1
“Mom, Dad, I have something important to tell you.” Breezy Jones sucked in a deep breath as she stood on her higher-than-comfortable heels and straightened her skirt. She had to act casual or she couldn’t pull this off.
On Breezy’s left, her mother looked up from loading the dishwasher and, at the far end of the breakfast nook table, her father lowered his newspaper. He had an iPad, but would doubtless cling to his daily print newspaper right up until the day they stopped delivering, probably because it looked silly to hide behind an iPad.
“Have a seat, Mom.” Breezy bit the inside of her lip. “You’ll need it.”
Her mother circled the counter and sat next to her father, and both watched Breezy expectantly. They made such an adorable pair. Her big, strong, silver-haired, handsome father and her petite, cute-as-a-button, flibbertigibbet blonde mother. Apparently opposites did attract.
“I don’t know how to say this other than to just say it.” Breezy sighed dramatically, and then lowered the April Fool’s boom. “I got fired from the station.”
Other than her mother’s ferocious gasp as she placed her hand to her heart, the kitchen was silent. Her father tipped his head and studied her.
It only took a moment for her mother to recover her voice and jump up from the table. With a worried look, she said, “Breanne, you cannot have been fired. Everyone loves you at the station. Your ratings are high. Your forecasts are accurate. What on earth would they fire you for? This has got to be a horrible misunderstanding.” She looked over at her husband, who set the newspaper on his lap. “Your father will go to the station with you and straighten this out. Tell her you will, Arthur.”
Before her father could say anything, her mother whirled back around. “This is awful. You’ll be ruined. Your career could be over before it’s even begun.”
Her father adjusted his glasses, smiled gently, and drew in a deep breath. “It’s April Fool’s Day, Emily.” He winked at Breezy, who couldn’t resist smiling back.
Her mother looked at her husband, then at Breezy. She narrowed her eyes. “I do not appreciate this at all, Breanne Jones.”
Breezy laughed as her smiling father ducked behind the newspaper again. “It is April Fool’s Day, after all, Mom, and I figured you must have already gotten a call from Kendra saying her house had been struck by a hurricane or something.”
“No. Your sister has not called to give me any heart attacks today.”
“The day’s still young,” Dad said, newspaper still in front of his face.
“I’m sure I’ve aged ten years from the shock.” Shaking her finger at her daughter, Breezy’s mother said, “Don’t do that to me, Breezy. I mean it. My heart can’t take it.”
“Okay. I won’t do it again.” Breezy wrapped an arm around her mother’s shoulders. “I almost told you I was pregnant, but I didn’t think you would find that very funny.”
“I didn’t think this was funny.” Her mother frowned. “And you’re not even dating anyone. Heaven knows I wish you were, and you know how much I want grandchildren, but I’m glad you know you’ve got to have a husband first.”
Breezy squeezed her mother’s shoulders and stepped over to the table, moving the bowl of strawberries to the counter. “That’s the general idea.”
Her mother touched her arm. “After you’re married, Dear. Then you can announce you’re pregnant.”
“Call us from the honeymoon suite to announce it, Breezy.” Dad’s voice floated over the weather section. “That would thrill your mother.”
“The thought of a marriage would thrill me. When are you going to start dating again, Breezy? You and Kendra are twenty-eight and thirty. Your eggs are probably drying up as we speak. Can’t you hear your biological clock ticking? Because I can.”
“The only thing Breezy hears is the weather.”
Now that was true. And Dad should know. They were kindred spirits.
“Look who’s talking,” Mom said. “Weatherman for thirty years.”
“And retired just in time to pass the mantle on to my daughter.” Dad looked over the paper again, fondness in his eyes. “How are things going at the station?”
“Wonderful.” Breezy laughed. “Though there are a few changes I’d like to make. Shake things up a bit.”
Dad laughed. “Good luck with that bunch in management.”
“Change can be hard.” Her mother put the strawberries into a container, snapped on the lid, and placed it in the fridge.
“Change can be good, too.” Dad shrugged. “But, like I always say, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“Wait a minute. I just had a wonderful idea.” Her mother’s face lit up with excitement.
Oh, no. Not again. Her mother’s wonderful ideas usually involved men and matchmaking.
“I’m going to invite a man over to dinner next Sunday.”
Breezy groaned. “Mom, no dates.” Though she wasn’t opposed to dating, per se, she did object to the men her mother lined her up with.
“But now you’re out of graduate school, you have time to date again. I’m going to invite over two men. And I’ll get your sister over here, too. You can both come early and I’ll give you lessons in how to flirt. I’m tired of waiting around for you late bloomers. Then when I line you up for blind dates, you’ll get a second date.”
“No date! But I could totally ace Eyelash Batting 101.”
“Mock me all you want. Your father loves it when I bat my eyelashes.”
Her father lowered his paper and smiled his gentle smile again. “It’s true. I do.”
Her mother sighed. “Speaking of batting your eyelashes, I hear Andrew’s back in town for a visit.”
Andrew North? “That’s really nice, Mom. Thanks for letting me know the man who dumped me two years ago is back in the vicinity.”
“Forewarned is forearmed.” Her father turned another page. “Like receiving a tornado warning in time to board up the windows.”
The last thing she wanted to deal with was her ex-boyfriend showing back up in town. Everyone had thought for sure they’d get married, but Andrew had bigger plans. He’d left Breezy, not for a racier woman, but for a racier city. Los Angeles, to be exact. If he was in town, she was sure it was only for a brief visit and then he’d be back out looking for the thrills that small-town Aspen Grove, California, could never provide for him.
Dad was right. Forewarned was forearmed. Now she was ready so she wouldn’t make a fool of herself if she ran into him. But she would try very hard to not run into him at all until he went back to big old LA.
Her mother tilted her head in thought. “I know. I’ll invite Andrew over.”
“Don’t you dare, Mom! I mean it! That is so over.”
Her mother sighed. “Sometimes all someone needs is a second chance. And you should do good to everyone.”
Breezy pointed her finger at her mother. “If you do, I will walk right back out the door.”
“Oh, you will not.” Her mother shot her an appraising look. “You will sit down and visit with the man while he’s here.”
Her father said, “Any man who passed up our daughter has mush for brains.”
When Breezy’s cell phone chirped to tell her it was time to leave for work, she pulled it out and turned off the timer. “Thanks for a delicious lunch, Mom. Love you both. This is much better than going to my house for a lunch all by myself.”
She pulled first her mother and then her father into a hug.
“Love you, too, Sweetie.” Her father gave her an extra squeeze, then held her suit jacket while she slipped her arms in.
She fastened the three buttons. “Time to get to the station.” She picked up her purse, glad to get away from threats of old boyfriends being invited to Sunday dinner and excited to get to the weather.
“What is the forecast for this week, anyway?” asked her mother. “I haven’t heard yet.”
Dad shrugged again, said, “With Breezy, it’s always sunny,” and disappeared behind his paper.
Her mother said, “I hope there’s a date in Breezy’s forecast.”